3 For 3

API's Sarah Snyder brings us another article to help prepare players for the rigors of workouts, with an article on nutrition.

Eating often and consistently has many benefits including:

·         Maintains energy levels

·         Maintains focus

·         Prevents excessive hunger, which can lead to overeating

By eating often, you have more control over the selection of food you eat at your next meal rather than grabbing for the first food item you see because it's convenient and you may be starving if you have waited 5 hours or more.  Eating often also can help control the amount of food you take in and possibly the rate at which you eat.  When you eat fast, you tend to ignore the signals from the brain that the body is fed and full.  Combining the 3 main nutrients-carbohydrates, protein and fat every 3 hours will keep you satisfied and able to perform at optimal levels. 

Athletes have increased muscle mass and muscle is a tissue that requires more nutrients than fat tissue.  It is metabolically active tissue.  By eating every 3 hours, you are helping to maintain muscle mass and prevent muscle break down.  Body builders will go through extremes to eat every 2 hours to keep muscle mass at it's peak.

The challenge of eating every 3 hours, or 5-6 times a day is the planning involved.  Keep healthy snacks, like trail mix, fruit, and bars in your gym bag, locker, car or desk drawer to have easy access at all times. 

If your schedule is busy with school, practice, training, homework…etc, plan out an eating schedule from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed and map out times to eat about every 3 hours:

Time

Meal

7:00 am

Oatmeal or cereal, berries, 4 egg whites or yogurt, 1 tsp Olive Oil or walnuts in cereal/oatmeal

10:00am

Grapes with handful of almonds

12:30pm

4 oz turkey, 2 slices whole wheat bread, spinach salad, low-fat dressing

3:00pm

Apple w/2 Tbsp of Peanut butter

Workout

Post workout

12 oz choc milk or lite EAS shake

7:00

4 oz grilled salmon or chicken, ½ cup brown rice, steamed asparagus

10pm (optional)

Yogurt and fruit

 

Eat every 3 hours, balanced snacks/meals composed of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  For any goal, weight gain or decreasing body fat, eating consistently and often can help you get there with increased control over your eating and hunger as well as keeping you focused throughout the day.


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